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August 2, 2012
MAJ Cameron Jamieson
VIETNAMESE children are being
given back the gift of movement by
Pacific Partnership physicians who
are using laser surgery on scar tissue
caused by serious burns to give relief.
Theatre nurse LEUT Christine
Frost is a member of the multinational
mission's surgical team based aboard
the 1000-bed hospital ship USNS
Mercy, which is stationed off the coast
of Vinh in northern Vietnam.
She assisted with a number of burn
surgeries performed in Mercy's operat-
"The sad thing is that a lot of the
burns are on children," she said.
"Mostly it seems to be hot water
burns that the parents have not been
able to have treated.
"The burns we are seeing are very
severe and the scar tissue is old, so the
contractions have been in place for a
By using laser technology the sur-
geons release the stranglehold of scar
tissue, allowing the patient to flex and
move joints that have been frozen or
restricted in movement for years.
"For one lady her toes were fused
back towards the front of her leg,"
LEUT Frost said.
"By releasing the toes the surgeons
have given her the freedom to walk
"Others have had their fingers
fused and contracted into their hand.
We've been able to release those too."
LEUT Frost is from the ALTC
Medical Training School in Bandiana,
and while she has had extensive expe-
rience in military and civilian nursing
work, her Pacific Partnership experi-
ence has allowed her to achieve a long-
"My goal has always been to do
humanitarian aid work, and I'm very
glad to have this opportunity," she said.
"The best part of the work is see-
ing the difference we are making to
"Even though the patients will still
have scaring, just seeing people regain
freedom of movement and live a fuller
life is very rewarding."
HELPING HAND: Theatre nurse LEUT Christine Frost prepares Hoang
Minh Suong for surgery to release burn scar tissue on his left hand in
Photo: FSGT Craig Sharp
MAJ Cameron Jamieson
A DENTIST has been recognised for
outstanding duty while ser ving with
LCDR Kelly Gregg, of HMAS
Success, received her award for efforts
in treating as many disadvantaged peo-
ple as possible du ring her five weeks in
Indonesia's North Sulawesi province and
the island of Samar in the Philippines.
Nominated by her US Navy leader-
ship, LCDR Gregg was praised for her
tireless work ethic, calm demeanour and
"In the field, LCDR Gregg is always
the first to volunteer to care for a patient
and never stops working," her award reads.
"Abo a rd Mercy, LCDR Gregg has
seen 48 patients providing 82 extrac-
tions and 38 dental restorations.
"On shore, she has seen over 300
patients and perfor med over 1000
Australian contingent commander
CMDR Ken Walters said LCDR Gregg's
award was richly deserved.
"Kelly exemplifies what it means to
be a member of the ADF," he said.
"She has put the needs of those she
came to help first and foremost.
"Even in the most rudimentary of
dental clinics established ashore in
school classrooms, her passion for help-
ing those less fortunate than ourselves
was an honour to witness."
The award tops off a memorable
career for LCDR Gregg, who has dis-
charged from the Navy after retur ning
home to run her own dental practice.
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